LUCIAN PERKINS, award-winning photographer for The Washington Post, earned his first of two Pulitzer Prizes for his study of a family with AIDS:

The story for which I received the Pulitzer was published back in 1995. We followed Rosa Lee Cunningham and her Washington, D.C., family to study the impact of poverty, illiteracy, racism, recidivism and AIDS across three generations.

Rosa Lee and three of her children were HIV-positive through drug use. They have all since died. What amazes me is that six years later, the issue of AIDS is still as important as it was then, but you see fewer and fewer stories in newspapers and magazines or on TV. It has become the forgotten disease. It’s no longer on journalism’s front burner because the story’s been told so many times.

But the bottom line is: The story is growing and changing. The disease is quietly spreading through our society and devastating countries around the world. And there are new issues that it is raising. For example, some people with HIV are now able to obtain drugs that let them lead much longer lives, while others languish and die because they cannot afford them.

Just as scientists are looking for ways to find new treatments, we as journalists need to find more novel stories that personally impact readers and inspire them to think about the new issues surrounding AIDS. We need to figure out what story hasn’t been told, or look ahead and focus on where the disease is heading. Another thing we can do is to tell stories in different media such as the Internet, or take them directly to the public through exhibitions, multimedia events or personal stories at our local community centers, high schools or alternative art spaces.